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Thu, 20 Apr



Genomic Equity Series: Engagement and Research with the Caribbean Community

The Genomic Equity Series is a collaborative event series between Genomics England and the DSxHE genomics theme, which aims to share the latest experiences, projects and research of those working to improve equity in genomic medicine

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Genomic Equity Series: Engagement and Research with the Caribbean Community

Time & Location

20 Apr, 15:00 BST – 21 Apr, 16:00 BST


About the event

The Genomic Equity Series is a monthly online series hosted by the Diverse Data initiative at Genomics England, in collaboration with the Data Science for Health Equity community, which aims to share the latest experiences, projects and research of those working to improve equity in genomic medicine across the world.

For the April instalment of the Genomic Equity series, we are delighted to host Dr. Carika Weldon, CEO of CariGenetics and Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Officer of the Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN).

Dr. Weldon will speak on the lack of inclusion of the Caribbean genome in global datasets and how her new start-up, CariGenetics, is set to increase genetic research in the region conducted by local researchers. Although only 0.5% of the world population, the Caribbean is the only place with traces of DNA from all over the world due to the history of enslavement, indentured servants and colonialism. For this reason, the Caribbean presents the perfect sample to give maximum diversity and impact for global advances in precision medicine. Research conducted by CariGenetics will inform existing science about how region-specific genomes have relevant differences.

Over time, CariGenetics aims to build a biobank of Caribbean biodiversity and human specimens and expand genomics capacity by training aspiring Caribbean scientists using biodiversity then human genetic research projects to sustain a new biotech industry that can also diversify economies in the region.

Charles Kwaku-Odoi will be presenting about effective community engagement. Effective community engagement is crucial as it gives voice to underserved diverse communities, ensures representation and rebuilds trust. Community engagement empowers individuals at the margins, fosters cultural exchange and enriches our society. CAHN recognises these key elements need to be upheld when building bridges into communities. Engagement with communities should be strengths-based and therefore enables community members to become advocates for themselves; ensuring that their voices are heard and their perspectives are taken into account in designing and delivery of services.

The Caribbean & African Health Network (CAHN) works with members of the community and cross-sector organisations to reduce health inequalities and wider disparities in the Caribbean and African community in the UK. CAHN run services, programmes, activities, and initiatives that empower the community to self-care and self-manage their health. Through their engagement, they are able to collaborate with commissioners and service providers offering invaluable cultural and religious insight necessary to make services appropriate for the community.


15:00 Welcome to the Genomic Equity Series

15:05 Presentation by Dr. Carika Weldon

15:20 Presentation by Charles Kwaku-Odoi

15:45 Discussion & Audience Q&A

16:00 Close


PS Can't make it? Never fear, all our events will be recorded and uploaded onto

Any questions, please email

About the series organisers

Diverse Data

Diverse Data is a new initiative set up by Genomics England to reduce inequalities in genomic medicine, by ensuring that all patients, regardless of their background, receive the same quality of genomics-enabled personalized medicine, supported by the latest research on people like them. The initiative will be setting up new research projects, working closely with community groups, conducting large-scale sequencing efforts, and will be building practical tools to support everyone in the genomics community to put equity at the centre of their work. Find out more about the initiative here.

Data Science for Health Equity

Data Science for Health Equity is global community that brings together experts, enthusiasts and hobbyists working at the intersection of data science and health inequalities to ensure that the latest research and innovations improve health equity. Find out more about the community here.

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